It’s a three-hour, ultra-big-screen, deeply-researched box office mega-hit about… J. Robert Oppenheimer, project manager. Leslie Groves, the manager’s manager. Kitty Oppenheimer, the manager’s kids’ manager. Lewis Strauss, the wanna-be manager. Harry Truman, the buck-stops-here manager. James Byrnes, President Truman’s manager. The scientists of the Manhattan Project, thoroughly unmanageable. The bomb? It was everybody’s fault, and […]
An orphaned boy and girl wander helplessly through a destroyed Japanese city toward the end of World War II. The boy, older but not old enough, has frustrating interactions with the adults they meet, most of whom are preoccupied with their own struggles to survive. Despite his earnest efforts, he cannot keep his little sister […]
Galvan, Patrick. Ruan Lingyu: Her Life and Career (Cinemodyssey Press, 2022) A child of poverty, luckless in love, her hour upon the stage mostly lost to history, and dead before the age of 25: all too true for Chinese silent film star Ruan Lingyu. Yet there was also a prophecy that “her artistry will one […]
Before John Dower's Embracing Defeat, many English-language accounts of the United States’ occupation of Japan contextualized the event in terms of American foreign policy and the emerging Cold War. Scholars writing from this Western-centric perspective produced much fine scholarship, and no doubt will continue to do so.
On August 6, 1945, the United States of America became the first (and so far only) nation to use atomic weapons against an enemy. Since then, the world has wrestled with questions about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Did the A-bombs save American and Japanese lives by hastening Japan's surrender?